Green Bay, Wis.(WFRV )-- Bishop David L. Ricken has issued the following statement upon hearing the announcement of the new pope:
"Today is an exciting day in the life of the Church with the announcement of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina, as our new pope. In union with the People of God in the Diocese of Green Bay, we welcome Pope Francis with joyful and thankful hearts.
I am extremely pleased with the result of the papal conclave. Pope Francis is well qualified for his new role. He is a man of profound knowledge with tremendous talent and aptitude and a deep love for his faith, the Church and her people. These qualities will assist him as he works to spread the message of Jesus, especially as he
reaches out through the New Evangelization.
I ask the faithful across our diocese to join me in prayer for the new pope as he begins his ministry as the successor of St. Peter. He has a tremendous responsibility before him of leading and uniting our universal church, especially during these challenging times. I pray his efforts bear fruit as he works as an instrument of
Christ to bring the souls of 1.2 billion Catholics around the world to the Father and to the kingdom of heaven.This is an immense task in our modern society but the Holy Spirit will be there to guide him.
In addition to praying for our new Holy Father, we must also offer our faithfulness to him during his service in the Vineyard of the Lord. With a new pope comes a new beginning. This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to renew ourselves in our love and commitment to our Catholic faith. I am grateful to God for the election of
Pope Francis and for his answer of "yes" to God's call to the vocation of Bishop of Rome. It takes a very spiritual and devout person to lay down his life in service to others."